Smart Use of Goat Dewormer
By eXtension Goats Community of Practice
The most important aspect of using dewormers is to conserve their effectiveness for use in animals that truly need them. This can be achieved by using them as little as possible and only when infection levels dictate that intervention is necessary. The old concepts of treating all animals when only a few show signs, or all animals at regular intervals—shorter than every three to four months—is no longer warranted because it promotes dewormer resistance. Even if new dewormers are eventually discovered and marketed, they should not be used indiscriminately because that is how the current dewormer-resistance problem evolved.
It would be prudent to establish which dewormers are effective against a worm population on a given premises. This can be achieved by conducting fecal egg count (FEC) reduction testing and should be done by a qualified professional such as a veterinarian, laboratory technician, diagnostic laboratory, etc. FECs are not hard to do, but a microscope is required. The procedures for conducting a FEC are available online (see below). The concept is to do FEC before and 10 to 14 days after deworming treatment. If FECs after treatment are zero, the dewormer is very effective. Any FEC reduction below 95 percent calls a dewormer's effectiveness into question. The most effective dewomer on a given premises should be used only when no other treatment or management options are available, thus extending its useful life on that premises. FEC reduction testing may seem expensive, but it is worth the effort and expense to know what medications are effective on a particular farm. After the most effective dewormer has been selected, it must be used wisely.
Some aspects of "smart deworming" include these actions:
For more information visit: Iowa State University Extension and Outreach